Premier Badminton League (PBL) announces Format & Rules for the upcoming 2016 Edition

With the much awaited Premier Badminton League just around the corner, the League announced the Format & Rules for the upcoming edition, which is all set to kick-start on 2nd January 2016.

Aiming to keep the League alive in both the League as well as the knockout stages, the 16-day long extravaganza will witness the introduction of Trump Match, a rule which will prove to be the game changer for PBL, taking the excitement to a new level each day. Trump Match aims at testing each team’s as well as the player’s ability to thrive under pressure, ensuring that they use the Trump match for their benefit in going up the points table.

Another minor rule modification that will be introduced which will result in shortening the play duration. Each match will take in consideration the best of 3 Games and each game will be played for 15 points and a sudden death at 14 all.

Speaking on the new format being introduced, Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta, Badminton Association of India President & PBL Chairman stated: “The idea behind introducing the new rules is to make the League more competitive. The new format will keep each team on the edge as each day will produce a new result and might put different teams on a better position vis-a-vis the positions that they were a day earlier. So no team can take any day lightly as one wrong move will prove tables changing for them”.

The rousing action will kick-start on 2nd January, 2016 in Mumbai with an extravagant Opening Ceremony and the Grand Finale will take place here in Delhi on 17th January, 2016. While Indian badminton players are engraving their names across the world, the Premier Badminton League will bring together India’s top badminton players along with international players on the same platform wherein they will showcase high-class action in front of the sports loving citizens of India.


1.      In the league stage, each team plays 5 TIES with the other 5 teams – hence 15 Ties during the league stage followed by Semi-finals & Finals.

2.      Each TIE comprises of 5 matches – Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles, Mixed Doubles & Men’s Singles.

3.      Each Match will be played as best of 3 Games, with each game being a Race to 15 points and a sudden death at 14-14.

4.      After each team shares the list of players who will be playing the 5 matches & their choice of trump match, the order of play will be mutually decided by the Technical team of PBL & Star India before each tie (from a neutral perspective) to keep the schedule unpredictable, keeping in mind the following criteria:

  • No player plays back to back matches
  • In case the same is unavoidable, then there will be a 5 minute extra gap between consecutive matches if the same player is playing them. Prior to this, both the captains would have shared the names of the players who will be representing them in these 5 matches and which of these 5 matches will be Trump for the respective teams. It is fine that both the teams have placed the Trump on the same match.

5.   Each team strategically selects one of the 5 matches that they play in a Tie as their TRUMP MATCH. In a trump match, a victory gives the team a bonus point and a loss gives it a negative point. TRUMP MATCH rules are explained in detail in Annexure-A. Trump matches will be applicable in the league as well as knockout stage.

6.   A team cannot put the same player in the trump matches proposed by them more than twice in the league stage and once in the knock out stage i.e., if team A places 5 trump matches during the league stage, any player can take part in maximum two of those 5 matches. However, participation of a player in a trump match proposed by the opponent will not be counted in this maximum 2 criterion.

7.  Scoring: Victory in a normal match gives 1 point, loss gives 0 points. In a Trump Match, the team that has called for the Trump gets 2 points for victory and -1 points for loss. However, the other team will play this match as a normal match and will either get 1 or 0 points for win or loss respectively. If both the teams place the trump on the same match, then for both of them +2 or -1 scoring will apply for win or loss respectively.

8.  After the end of the league, the top 4 teams with maximum points will proceed to the Semifinals. There will be a draw taken after the last match of the league stage. Top two teams will be placed at the top and bottom of the draw. The remaining two teams will be drawn by lot to play against these two top teams in the semi-finals.

9.  In the case of two teams ending up with the same points after the league stage, preference will be given to the team which has won their head to head Tie. To clarify, winner of a H2H tie will be the team that accumulated maximum points in those 5 matches of the tie (but not the team that has won more matches out of those 5)

10.  In case there is a 3-way tie on league points, then the team with more net games won (games won – games lost) will get preference. If this resolves the 3-way tie, for the remaining two teams, Head to head results will then decide the winner.

11.  In case the 3-way tie on league points is still not resolved using net games, then the team with more net points won in all their games (points won – points lost) will get preference. If this resolves the 3-way tie, for the remaining two teams, Head to head results will then decide the winner.

12.  If this still does not resolve the tie, then the higher rank will be decided by drawing a lot.

13.  If a team is unable to complete all their ties in the league stage, all the results of that team shall be deleted.

14.  If a team is unable to complete a match in a tie, the result of that match shall be considered to be 15- 0, 15-0 for the purpose of deciding ranking in the pool system. Retiring during a match shall be considered to be not completing the match.

15.  Each team shall have a minimum and maximum of 10 players of which a minimum of 4 Indian players, and shall ensure that at least 2 matches out of 5 in a Tie shall have Indian participation. No player can play more than 2 matches in a tie. The two men’s singles will have different players participating from each team i.e., same men’s player cannot play both the men’s singles.

16.  Each player will be allowed 1 unsuccessful challenge per Match – the successful challenges are not counted. (BAI to ensure faster turnaround for challenges, i.e., the challenges are to be played right after the challenge instead of how it is done in BWF tournaments). In addition, each team is allowed 1 challenge (successful or unsuccessful) across the course of the 5 matches in a tie.

17.  Break pattern: There will be a maximum 1 minute break in each game whenever the lead scorer reaches 8 points, there will be a maximum of 1 minute break between games and there will be a maximum of 5 minute break between matches (from end of matchpoint of the previous match to start of the first point of the next match).

18.  The points won by each team after the league stage will not be carried over to the knockout stage.


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